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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Sunday Supervillainy - reboot of Fantastic Four

The word is that there's going to be a reboot of the not-very-successful Fantastic Four movie franchise. I'd love to see the Fantastic Four done a bit better than we've seen to date, perhaps even with the sort of goofy science-fictional dignitas that you can find in the original Stan Lee/Jack Kirby run of the book, back in the early sixties when it really was "The world's greatest comic magazine!"

At this stage, I have no idea of what is going to be involved in the movie, and I guess we won't know for a long time, as the scheduled release date is 2015. Since it's a reboot, I guess it has to include a version of the origin story, in which the FF members gain their powers when accidentally bombarded in space by mutagenic cosmic rays (yeah, yeah, goofy). Maybe it would be a mistake to try again with Dr. Doom this early in a rebooted movie franchise. I'd love to see Black Bolt, Medusa, and the other Inhumans introduced, but that might get too complicated for an initial movie with an origin story to tell.

Looking forward to some more clarity on this as the time approaches.


Unknown said...

If they don't bring in Doctor Doom for the origin story, who is left? The early FF issues had some amazingly lame villains, i.e. Diablo and the Mole Man. Submariner isn't likely to be brought in either.

Rocket Stegosaurus said...

The Wizard's anti-gravity discs would be cool to see on-screen. Or maybe Fox could go with Hate-Monger. Secret Identity: Hitler.

Russell Blackford said...

We mustn't forget that the Frightful Four actually defeated the Fantastic Four on a couple of occasions, and even when the Fantastic Four finally won out, Medusa escaped justice. She was wonderful back in her (short-lived) supervillain days - surely one of Marvel's most successful supervillains ever, even if her most conspicuous power (her prehensile hair) now seems pretty lame. (Of course, Medusa also possesses strength, speed, agility, reflexes, etc., beyond, say, Captain America's - she's pretty formidable.)

I doubt that they'd bring in the Inhumans, but I hope I'm wrong. Just sayin' that even what now seem like lame villains can be made genuinely threateningly if done well.

Characters like the Wizard and the Trapster, who are almost a joke these days, were competent and formidable back in the 1960s. The same could apply to Diablo or, I guess, even the Mole Man. It all depends on how it's done.

James Dunn said...

Whatever happens, I wouldn't be surprised if it takes place in the same universe as X-Men.

Fox have indicated that they think their X-Men universe can be as big as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So why not bring FF into the mix as well?

Jason Streitfeld said...

What was your opinion of the first FF movie franchise, Russell? I skipped it, but was always curious.

Russell Blackford said...

Thought the first movie was kinda okay, but kinda "Meh!". Only saw a bit of the second movie on TV. I was unimpressed, and the way they handled Galactus seemed dumb to me - but I freely admit that I may not have done it justice.

Cephus said...

The only reason they're making a new FF movie is because if they don't, they lose the license. It's the same reason they made a Spider-Man movie last summer. It's why they're making another X-Men movie. It's not because they have a great idea for a movie, it's because they lose their rights to the characters if they don't.

Russell Blackford said...

True to a point - they do need to make movies to retain the licence. Still, they won't make movies unless they expect them to make money.

What I find interesting, though, is that they have (seemingly) decided to reboot rather than do a sequel. In this case, I think that's probably a good decision.

Cephus said...

Let's be honest, reboots are standard operating procedure in Hollywood. Spider-Man lasted 3 movies and rebooted. Batman lasted 3 movies and will now reboot. Superman, after the last failed movie, is going to reboot this summer. I don't know that reboots are necessarily a sign of better movies to come, it's a fresh start that doesn't guarantee good concepts in new films. After all, if these companies couldn't make good movies in the first place, are we supposed to believe they learned their lesson and now know how to make a good superhero film?

Russell Blackford said...

No of course it doesn't necessarily mean that better movies are on their way, or that any lessons have been learned with a not-very-successful franchise. That wasn't my point.

The new FF movie might turn out to be terrible for all I know. At this stage, that is speculative.

Nonetheless, sometimes rebooting might be wise and sometimes doing a sequel might be wise. And thre can be pros and cons. We can discuss our perceptions (and offer reasons for them) of which times are which.

David Ellis said...

I hope they go with CGI for The Thing. He needs to be a lot bigger and more formidable than the previous movie version.

As to the villain, I'm hoping for a Galactus which actually appears onscreen.